Our ERGOLAB team are big fans of the work coming from Liberty Mutual’s Occupational Safety and Health Research facility. Their most recent edition of their quarterly newsletter, “From Research to Reality” drills down on the topic of Occupational Fatigue; the insights surfaced in their proprietary research are eye-opening.
At ERGOLAB, our Ergonomists and Occupational Safety & Health Engineers are often asked to assess Health & Safety risks within production environments where operations are a 24/7/365 proposition; multiple work tasks across multiple shifts. When analyzing OSHA recordable within a facility, time and again we would see the same data patterns; injury rates increase deeper into every 8 hour shift, and higher injury rates for PM versus AM shifts. This research from Liberty Mutual VALIDATES these patterns AND takes the insights to the next logical step; developing schedule management tools that assist Production and Manufacturing leadership in building schedules that minimize and ideally eliminate all risk. Liberty Mutual’s new scheduling software, SIRE, takes this learning into consideration in the build out of work schedules for multi-shift environments. At the bottom of this post we’ll provide the links to the Liberty Mutual software application SIRE!
Some of the highlights from this research;
- The risk of injury increases dramatically after the 8th hour of shift
- Morning shift employees have the lowest risk of injury, or “Relative Risk”
- Afternoon shift employee risk of injury increases 15% from Morning shift risk
- Evening Shift employee risk of injury increases by 30% from Morning shift risk
- An employees risk of injury increases as the time between rest breaks increases! As an example, the risk of injury DOUBLES if the time between breaks is more than 91 minutes.
- An employee who works successive DAILY shifts – daytime or nighttime – the risk increases day to day. The following chart details the escalation
The impact of occupational fatigue is very real and will influence any Ergonomic consulting initiative; particularly within a production / multi-shift environment. As Ergonomists, it is critical we understand the complexity of the equation, this will ensure we deliver high value consulting to our clients.
Link to Liberty Mutual Newsletter and SIRE software solution; http://bit.ly/ERGOLABFatigue
Any questions specific to this post, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 401.527.7047.